4/17/2014 6pm PST/9pm EST
Every Monday night I went to a local Zumba class, had fun dancing, and burned calories. I always left feeling uplifted. Life happened, I took up yoga, and I stopped going to Zumba classes. While I’ve been focused on my running and yoga, I’ve occasionally done Wii Zumba. While the Wii Zumba is a lot of fun, it’s not the same as going to class. I missed the variety in songs, routines, and having an instructor.
The last month or so I’ve been thinking about going back to Zumba classes since I’m currently not going to yoga. I spent some time on the Zumba website to make sure the class that I used to attend was still going at the same time and location.
I was set and yet Monday afternoon I was a ball of nervous energy. I was worried that I would show up and the class wouldn’t be happening. I was nervous I would look silly. This is a class I attended weekly for MONTHS, and I was getting nervous, for no real reason.
This post has been sitting in my draft pile for a while. It’s a timing thing. Last autumn Wandering Aengus, the makers of Anthem Ciders, or at least their PA reps, were pouring at Philly’s first Pour The Core cider fest. Philly is arguably one of the best beer cities but cider is in its infancy.
Though reviewing ciders is always fun, I am sometimes drawn to the labels and story behind the cider makers. Leprechaun, Naked Flock and Wandering Aengus all make badass labels. I have already featured the first 2 in previous posts so let’s take a look behind Wandering Aengus. Continue reading
I fell into the internet rabbit hole trying to see if the video existed somewhere else on the web. Sadly, I was not able to find the video, but I did stumble across Grokker and have been raving about it ever since.
Grokker is an amazing free resource. The website had videos from fitness experts on any topic you could want. Yoga, strength training, pilates, and kick boxing, just to name a few. They also have cooking videos for everyone cuisine and diet.
I hear it all the time. Every time I talk to my dad about running, he, without fail, asks, “Was a car chasing you?” Sometimes he’ll ask if it is a bear, just to spice it up. He’s not the only one. I get this from a lot of people who think running is silly – why run when you can just as easily drive. It’s not a question I ever stopped to think about.
Then one day I was talking to my yoga teacher about my marathon training and he asked me, “What are you running from?” It caught me off guard. It wasn’t thrown off the cuff. I started think about all the reasons I run, and there are a lot of them, but one stands out above the rest.
I’m one of those people who is always on the go. I have trouble sitting still. I go stir crazy in staff meetings. My mind is constantly trying to balance a million thoughts.
Running has never bothered me. All I’ve needed are some good tunes and an open road. Then I immersed myself in marathon training (I’ll get into all of that another time). Dedication to the training schedule has me running more than I ever have and some added pressure. I ended up hitting a wall.
It’s not that I didn’t necessarily want to run. It became more about procrastination. Everything else was suddenly MUCH more interesting. It was a feeling that crept up on me; a feeling of, “I’ve done this before, I don’t really need to do it again.”
Enter my savior – podcasts.
Don’t bury me yet! I am still breathing apples and to prove it I have two posts awaiting your approval. Here is the first.
I want to give a holler out to Merideth Collins on her new position with Bellwether up in NY. Looks like we both are riding the cider wave. Like we are becoming the Rat Pack of Cider. Oh hell, let’s call us the “Cider Pack.” What a good idea for my next post…
I recently reviewed a cider from Farnum Hill. It was their Extra Dry and what a cider it was. After visiting their web site and browsing their other available ciders, I noticed they had a summer selection. I had to have it so I asked Merideth if she would send one over and like a true player, she did. The weather will be breaking soon so I wanted to get my summer fix out-of-the-way.
I confess, up until the last 2 years I have dedicated most of my time toward craft beer and have seen a lot of changes over the years. One of the things the brewers have mastered is the art of seasonal releases. It reminds me of the produce markets. Local tomatoes and corn in the summer, pumpkins and apples in the fall and citrus in the winter.
Will the cider folks follow the same path? I hope so and it looks like some already are. Strawberries and rhubarb are hitting the blend, Pumpkin and Spices in the fall. But when I found Farnum Hill’s summer, I just knew this would be my first of many summer seasonals to come.
This is what I expect from a summer cider. A lighter but not weak body. Approachable but not bashful flavors. Softer tannins and balanced acidity though I wouldn’t mind a more acidic forward cider. A quick but not premature finish. And finally a mature carbonation. Not gassy but not still either. Lets see how Farnum Hill’s Summer fares.
Summer pours with a champagne appearance, tight and rapid bubbles. This looked and reminded me of a grand finale during a 4th of July fireworks. A white thin mousse forms and quickly dissipates.
The bouquet lived up to Farnum Hill’s reputation. A fresh and clean nose with subtle notes of apple skin, green grape and when I concentrated enough I pulled out a bit of coriander. In the end I was surprisingly hit with a bit of booziness.
I admit I spent a ridiculous amount of time whiffing this amazing cider. Like other Farnum Hill’s ciders, the body was full and creamy. Carbonation was softer than I expected, probably because I took so long smelling the damn thing. I bet the following pour will be different.
This reminded me of the ciders from Distillery Lane. The acidity is less intense and gives the body more texture and therefore slows the overall drinking experience. I got citrus in the middle and back palate. Well actually, it was lemon only. Tannins are there but not intimidating. Complexity is enough to remain a badass cider but light enough to drink as a summer quencher. It definitely had those familiar farmhouse qualities. The finish was clean and crisp, just as I anticipate a summer style to be.
When I poured a second glass, the acidity and carbonation was more evident and created a perfect balance. Lemon and farmhouse qualities stole the show. Farnum Hill’s Summer had that outside warm weather attitude. The cider was complex enough but did not over stimulate the senses. Left enough room to enjoy the hot heat and BBQ banter. If it had a voice, it would have tapped the other ciders on the shoulder and said “Step aside fellas, I got this one.”
“On Farnum Hill, we stick to the true meaning of the word “cider:” an alcoholic beverage fermented from particular apples, just as “wine” is fermented from particular grapes.”
This was quoted from Farnum Hill’s website and I couldn’t have said it better. Visit their website, watch their videos and you will understand the importance of true cider apple varieties. Just like a winery selects the ideal grapes, the cider maker utilizes the optimal apple varieties.